The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, City of Gustavus, Trout Unlimited, Alaska Sustainable Salmon Fund and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation have been working together for many years to restore aquatic connectivity and fish passage fish passage
Fish passage is the ability of fish or other aquatic species to move freely throughout their life to find food, reproduce, and complete their natural migration cycles. Millions of barriers to fish passage across the country are fragmenting habitat and leading to species declines. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Fish Passage Program is working to reconnect watersheds to benefit both wildlife and people.

Learn more about fish passage
in Gustavus via a series of culvert-to-bridge and other fish passage projects. An undersized culvert on Harry Hall Creek at Grandpa's Farm Road is the final piece of the puzzle. Isostatic rebound, where land rises after heavy ice sheets retreat, is causing a too-small culvert to become more “perched” above the creek over time. In addition to salmon, Dolly Varden and coastal cutthroat trout use this creek. 

Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Bipartisan Infrastructure Law
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) is a once-in-a-generation investment in the nation’s infrastructure and economic competitiveness. We were directly appropriated $455 million over five years in BIL funds for programs related to the President’s America the Beautiful initiative.

Learn more about Bipartisan Infrastructure Law
funding will allow for the last culvert impeding fish passage to be replaced with a timber bridge. This completes the effort to reconnect the Mountain View and Flats Creek drainages to provide unimpeded access to six miles of rearing habitat for juvenile Coho salmon—a very significant amount of habitat in an area of Alaska with tight topography and generally shorter river systems. It also fixes the traffic safety issue which came along with a narrow road with no guard rails, unstable banks, and a failing embankment.   

Quick Facts:

Project Status

Active

Location

AK, Hoonah-Angoon Census Area

NFPP Project Funding

$600,000

Restoration Techniques

Culvert Replacement

Accomplishments

6 Stream Miles Reopened

Project Partner Lead

City of Gustavus

Primary Species Benefited

Coho Salmon

A perched culvert that's undersized passes Harry Hall Creek under a road in Gustavus, Alaska.
The new bridge as of October 2022.

The National Fish Passage Program combines technical expertise with a track record of success. 

Implemented primarily through the Service's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Offices, the National Fish Passage Program provides financial and technical assistance to partners across the country. Since 1999, the program has worked with over 2,000 local communities, Tribes, and private landowners to remove or bypass over 3,400 barriers to fish passage and reopen access to over 61,000 miles of upstream habitat for fish and other animals. Staff have expertise in fish migration and biology as well as financial, engineering, and planning assistance to communities, Tribes, and landowners to help them remove barriers and restore rivers for the benefit both fish and people. 

Fish passage project proposals can be initiated by any individual, organization, government, or agency. However, proposals must be submitted and completed in cooperation with a Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office. (Please note that fish passage projects being used for federal or state compensatory mitigation or required by existing federal or state regulatory programs are not eligible for funding through the National Fish Passage Program.) 

 CONTACT A FISH PASSAGE COORDINATOR IN YOUR AREA TO GET STARTED. 

Contact Information

Andy Stevens sitting at the end of a culvert with water running through it.
Habitat Branch - Fish and Wildlife Biologist
Fish and Aquatic Conservation,
National Fish Passage Program,
Partners for Fish and Wildlife
Expertise
Fish ,
Fish passage ,
Southeast Alaska
Area
AK
Anchorage,AK

Species

Programs

A person is walks through a large wide culvert that passes under a gravel road. A small river runs through the culvert.
Across the country, millions of barriers are fragmenting rivers, blocking fish migration, and putting communities at higher risk to flooding. Improving fish passage is one of the most effective ways to help conserve vulnerable species while building safer infrastructure for communities and...

Facilities

An aerial landscape photo of a large blue lake along forested land, with snow-capped mountains in the background.
Welcome to our Southern Alaska Office! We have dedicated staff working with partners to conserve fish and wildlife via habitat restoration and conservation, fish assessment and management, technical assistance, cost-sharing, funding, and outreach.

Library Collections